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Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower


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Crude oil prices fell on Friday and pushed the most active crude futures contract to a more than one-week low, amid uncertainty about the outlook for oil demand.

Profit taking after recent gains and indications that oil supply from Russia will see a surge weighed on oil prices.

Oil prices climbed higher earlier in the session, riding on hopes about Chinese economic growth, and data showing a stronger than expected increase in U.S. GDP.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for March ended down $1.33 or about 1.6% at $79.68 a barrel. WTI crude futures shed about 2.4% in the week.

Brent crude futures were down $1.09 or 1.25% at $86.38 a barrel.

According to reports, oil loadings from Russia’s Baltic ports are likely to rise by 50% this month as sellers gear up to meet strong demand in Asia.

OPEC and allies are scheduled to meet next week to review crude production levels. The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting, scheduled to take place on January 31 and February 1 is eyed as well.

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